WEB FLASH: Tabor wins KCAC tourney title! (Feb. 27)

The KCAC tournament championship game between Tabor College and Saint Mary College was everything a championship game is supposed to be. And more.

It took two overtimes for the winner to be decided, but the Bluejays were the ones dancing on the court after a 94-92 win in Leavenworth Monday night.

At the end of regulation, the Jays may have thought their chances were dim when Saint Mary guard Joel Ockey hit a 26-foot 3-pointer to put the Spires up by two with 1:07 remaining.

But Tabor’s Ernest Nortey answered with a bucket off a Dustin Frost assist. Regulation time ended after Tabor made the defensive stop.

The Bluejays went on a 6-0 run to start the first overtime. But Saint Mary fought back, tying the game at 82 with 16 seconds left.

Micah Ratzlaff was called on to take the last shot for the Jays, but was unable to find an opening. Frost missed a hurried jumper from the top of the key as time ran out.

With 55 seconds left in the second overtime, Tabor senior Kevin Koehn hit a free throw to tie the game at 92. The Bluejays managed a defensive stop on the next possesion, and called a timeout with 10 seconds to play.

Once again the ball went to Micah Ratzlaff, who dished the ball to Tyson Ratzlaff on the left wing. The freshman passed to a streaking Koehn, who was fouled and then calmly sank both free throws.

Saint Mary’s last-second shot failed and Tabor celebrated its first conference tournament championship since 1997.

Micah Ratzlaff finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Nortey added 16 points and Koehn 13, including 7-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line.

Tabor, now 22-9, will continue its season in the NAIA Division II national tournament in Point Lookout, Mo., March 8. Pairings and times will be announced sometime this week.

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